In a school year when frustration, fatigue and uncertainty make teaching and learning an unprecedented challenge, principal Rita Platt is leading her staff to focus on two top priorities: (1) limit instruction to essential standards, and (2) build personal connections with EVERY student.
As Lauren Brown heads back to school for a year like no other, she considers how to combine academics and SEL support across the content areas. Along with activities for the first days of virtual or physical class, she offers three guidelines to engage kids all year.
Responding to a survey by Rita Platt, middle graders reveal what worked and what didn’t for them during their spring of virtual learning: more freedom and free time warred with tech glitches, months without friends, and less time with teachers. Rita shares some things we might do better.
The authors of the Social Studies Teacher’s Toolbox have constructed a research-based “honest, human guide” to helping students understand and care about what they learn. You will dig through and dog-ear it, and your students will be the richer for it, writes Sarah Cooper.
“I used to think clever lessons would show students how much I cared,” writes sixth grade teacher Kelly Owens. But she’s come to understand that “If you want to fully engage and motivate students to delve into your innovative instruction, get going first with a greeting!”
How can we keep a positive school climate and culture during remote learning? Chris Edwards, the 7th grade assistant principal at Kreps Middle School, created a grade-wide Google Classroom for students and teachers and staged weekly competitions best described as crazy and fun. It worked!
If you’re like teacher Dina Strasser, you may be wondering if your online classes add up to teaching. Yes, she says. You’ve adapted on the fly – suddenly providing virtual school to students who just weeks before greeted you at the classroom door. See if her real-life snippets match your experience.
Social-emotional learning is not a program we add on; it’s a mindset we teach with. Tan Huynh unpacks five strategies recommended by the Institute for Positive Education that can help teachers cultivate an SEL mindset, whether we’re teaching in physical or virtual spaces.
The limitations of funding, square footage, and time can make classroom design a daunting task, writes reviewer Eileen Hornbostel. To meet those challenges, Jessica Martin offers Strategic Classroom Design, a detailed guide to creating effective learning environments.
Thomas R. Hoerr’s guide for taking SEL schoolwide is particularly helpful to administrators, writes pre-service teacher Holly Reynolds. But she expects the book’s big picture view of quality SEL programs to be useful to her as she evaluates teaching opportunities this summer.